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Old 12-05-2004, 07:23 PM   #1
ridetwistyroads OP
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Upcoming Trip, NC, SC, GA, and FL roads and camping tips

Here's the deal. I have two weeks of early in January. Yaaaaaa, gonna be a ride involved. I am of course a local of Asheville, and my eventuall destination is way down in the flat lands of FL, Sarasota to be specific. Am in no real hurry to get there, two, or three days to get there's fine. Anybody between here and there have any road/camping recomendations? My only prereq's are simple. Two lanes prefered, um, duh, and the first night camping would need to be fairly south (mid GA) for temperatures sake I suppose. Though, I could camp alright down into the 40's, so it shouldn't be a big deal. Just getting out of the elevations here should gain me that.


So, road tips? Great, unmissable camping sights? Looking at map SR 441 in GA looks pretty good for productivity's sake. But that's about all I have to go on so far. Been caging it for YEARS and YEARS on I75, and if I never see that slab again it'll be too soon. Looks like for parts i may not have a choice though. Don't wanna get caught in bad traffic situations in larger towns, as some SR's will get ya, but smaller towns are fine (as there's FOOD there! )
All info welcome! I'm open to ideas, having been down through there so many times I really wanna do something different. Having never rode all the way, I can't wait. This is gonna be a loooooong month (of waiting!) at work......

Chris
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:29 PM   #2
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I am in Naples, Florida... are you going as far as the Keys? Flamingo State Park is good that month (no mosquitoes!).
I'' write some more soon... actually getting ready to head up to Dahlonega, GA, with... cage+trailer to close a storage... and yes... will be driving 75 all the way up... Many side roads for the bike however... nothing as esciting as in your neck of the woods... but at least it is riding!
PM me to remind me... will be back here on friday...
Be well...
Ara


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Old 12-08-2004, 06:43 AM   #3
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You can take really nice roads from Asheville, through the mountains, into the north Georgia mountains. The ones I've taken eventually took me (on purpose) to state route 400, which is a highway leading to Atlanta. So I might be able to help you to Dahlonega, but from there someone else would have to pick it up.

Two Wheels Only is a nice camp site in Suches and a stone's throw from Dahlonega, but that's less than a day's ride from Asheville, IIRC. Also, might be closed for the season. I've seen a couple of other camp sites in the North GA mountains along the route, but again, they might be seasonal.

One last thought: I've done the above ride in January, but it was a bit touch and go, as some snow did fall during the trip. Fortunately the temps stayed above freezing for me, so no ice. I'd watch for ice and shady spots if it's really cold during your ride.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:41 AM   #4
ridetwistyroads OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxwax
You can take really nice roads from Asheville, through the mountains, into the north Georgia mountains. The ones I've taken eventually took me (on purpose) to state route 400, which is a highway leading to Atlanta. So I might be able to help you to Dahlonega, but from there someone else would have to pick it up.

Two Wheels Only is a nice camp site in Suches and a stone's throw from Dahlonega, but that's less than a day's ride from Asheville, IIRC. Also, might be closed for the season. I've seen a couple of other camp sites in the North GA mountains along the route, but again, they might be seasonal.

One last thought: I've done the above ride in January, but it was a bit touch and go, as some snow did fall during the trip. Fortunately the temps stayed above freezing for me, so no ice. I'd watch for ice and shady spots if it's really cold during your ride.
Was hoping to stay in T.W.O. but they are in fact closed for season. Sucks, would have been a trip highlight for me. Course it will be in January, so I can't blame them. Can't imagine enough people would be crazy (stoopid) enough to give them much buisness. I think I've got GA licked (not literally, thank god), looks like I'll spend the early part of my day waking up on a slab, run 25 to greenville and pickup I85, and jump off at Commerce, pick up 441. That cuts Atlanta out, and that's fine by me. 441 Runs all the way down to Lake City, FL, which is a fair bit more then half way, which I probably wont make in the first day. (any state park camping?) So I'd probably camp in, on, or around that generall area, somewhere in the length of 441. My dread is having to slab from Lake City south, as it's a terribly boring and generally sucky stretch of mindless road. So I guess there in FL's where I need the help!

As far as the weather, I'm simply keeping an open mind. Once I get a bit south I'm not concerned as much with it in generall, as it should be warm enough to ward off the ice/snow. As far as geographclly do you get any icing in Atlanta? If the winter weather rears its ugly head Id prolly just head for the interstate, as they're always cleared to some degree. I am quite familier how ice patches will hide in shaded spots, most the time through the inside of a turn (how wonderfull, "ice found at full tilt...."), but that's part of why I was thinking of using 85 to gain some southern distance.

At least I'm not heading north.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:44 AM   #5
andy29847
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route suggestions

You could go south out of Asheville on 25 into South Carolina, west on SC 11 to US 178, south on 178 through Anderson to SR 81, south on SR 81 to McCormick, SC, then take US 221 around Augusta, GA to Valdosta, GA. The SC routes, 11 & 81 are scenic highways. I am not sure about campgrounds along the way. However, there should be plenty of cheap motel rooms along the way.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:23 AM   #6
HarveyMushman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridetwistyroads
Was hoping to stay in T.W.O. but they are in fact closed for season. Sucks, would have been a trip highlight for me. Course it will be in January, so I can't blame them. Can't imagine enough people would be crazy (stoopid) enough to give them much buisness. I think I've got GA licked (not literally, thank god), looks like I'll spend the early part of my day waking up on a slab, run 25 to greenville and pickup I85, and jump off at Commerce, pick up 441. That cuts Atlanta out, and that's fine by me. 441 Runs all the way down to Lake City, FL, which is a fair bit more then half way, which I probably wont make in the first day. (any state park camping?) So I'd probably camp in, on, or around that generall area, somewhere in the length of 441. My dread is having to slab from Lake City south, as it's a terribly boring and generally sucky stretch of mindless road. So I guess there in FL's where I need the help!
You are bypassing all of the North Georgia goodness. Is this by design? 441 is not a fun route.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:24 AM   #7
ridetwistyroads OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveyMushman
You are bypassing all of the North Georgia goodness. Is this by design? 441 is not a fun route.
Really? I had no idea. Looked like a good A-B road, and it wasn't an interstate.

Gimmie the goods, mang.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridetwistyroads
Really? I had no idea. Looked like a good A-B road, and it wasn't an interstate.

Gimmie the goods, mang.
You need to roll SW from Asheville, into north Georgia, not S to Greenville. Stay in the hills, assuming the weather cooperates. That portion of NC (and eastern TN) is packed with good roads, which I assume you know already since you are in Asheville. Take your pick of the lot and wiggle down into Georgia. Look at your GA map: For fun stuff stay north of Dawsonville. 76, 60, 129, 348, and 180 are some of the easy highlights, but the locals could give you a better idea.

If you bypass Atlanta to the east Athens is a good stopping point, for a quick lunch or an overnight. From there just connect the dots to FL--the twisty bits are behind you.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:57 AM   #9
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The last time I was in N. Ga I stayed at Vogel St. park. I had the wife & kids and stayed in one of the cabins they rent there. Very nice. The cabins have fire places. It is just south of Blairsville on 19.

Wolf pen gap rd (GA's verson of the Dragon) is right behind Vogel and leads down to Suches. 60 from Suches back to 19 is real fun too.

In Florida I have camped at O'leno St park south west of Lake City http://www.floridastateparks.org/oleno/ I have only stayed in the summer time for tubing/Snorking on the near by Ichetucknee river. Very pretty areas, nice facilities.

I have also camped at Ginney springs - this is a private camp groud that caters to the Scuba Diving set. If you have a wet suit (Shorty will do, or very cold tollerant) snorkling here is quite fun. The spring is 75 deg's year round. I have stayed here in the winter time. I think they rent gear too.
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Rd, High Springs, FL 32643

Tel: (904) 454-2202

Furthur south check out Crystal River (Off 19), sorry its been years since I have been there so I cant remember the camping info. They rent john boats where you can get out on the river and check out the Mantees that winter there. Again 75 deg spring fed water, fun snorkling. The place I rented the boat had all the gear (wet suits, snorkling) for rent too.

I know Florida sucks for riding, but take in the waterways if you can. It can ease the pain.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:05 AM   #10
HarveyMushman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oger
Wolf pen gap rd (GA's verson of the Dragon) is right behind Vogel and leads down to Suches. 60 from Suches back to 19 is real fun too.
FYI, Wolf Pen Gap Rd. is the 180 I mentioned above.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:21 AM   #11
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I have family in Asheville and Dahlonega, have made the trip countless times avoiding the interstates.
My favorite so far is, from Gainesville, GA.; hwy. 11 south to Gray, Ga. Then hwy. 18 south to 57 to 441 into Dublin. From Dublin 441 south to McRea. P/U 23 south all the way to Folkston. P/U 23/121 south, 301 to 225 to Camp Blanding on the 14th and attend the BMWNEF Winter Rally, it's the "coolest" rally in Florida and lot's of fellow campers.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveyMushman
FYI, Wolf Pen Gap Rd. is the 180 I mentioned above.

And is gonna be a toboggen run in January
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:27 AM   #13
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And is gonna be a toboggen run in January
Quite possibly.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:12 AM   #14
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If you come down 441 through Georgia, there's a campground at Sandy Creek Park. Don't know if it closes for the season. It's just outside of Athens.
If you like bars, you'll enjoy making a stop in Athens.

I live in Hull, just northeast of Athens, but I don't care for the herpes-fest that is downtown.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:53 AM   #15
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My 2 cents...

I just did this ride again, and highly recommend it.

Take Peaches advice and do the fun stuff from Asheville to North GA and down to Athens. In Athens, find 15 (I think County Road) and stay on 15 until you get to Baxley, at which time you'll want to head south on US1 / 23 to Waycross. Laura S. Walker State Park south of Waycross is one of my favorite campgrounds. Take CR 122 to CR 187 to US 129, and take that south.

From there, you'll have to get advice from someone more local...
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